You’re single now, so why not have a little fun? Your North York divorce lawyer has helped you obtain your divorce, your ex is off doing his or her own thing, and you’re getting restless.

Whether you were married for decades or just did a short tour of duty, you’re entitled to enjoy the benefits of being unattached—including having a night on the town with someone special, experiencing those butterflies you get when you’re emotionally attracted to someone, and sharing romantic “alone” time with a new significant other.

Before you dive headlong into the dating pool, there are a few things you need to know.

When to Start Dating Again

Don’t dress up and head out just yet. If your divorce isn’t final yet, check with your North York divorce lawyer to make sure it’s ok to start dating. You may have to wait a while—particularly if you’re still living with your soon-to-be ex or if you’re embroiled in a custody battle—before you can put yourself back on the market.

If your North York divorce lawyer has given you the green light, you’re cleared for takeoff. Just be aware that the dating scene changes quickly, so even if you were only married for a short time, it’s probably an entirely different landscape.

What’s So Different?

The dating scene has changed, and so have you. Your expectations are different now than they were before you married, and your level of self-esteem has probably changed, too. Now, you’re armed with more knowledge, like what personality types are a poor match for you (your ex, for example) and what behaviours you cannot tolerate.

Making the Right Choices

Trust yourself enough to make good decisions based on what you know, and don’t put up with things you know make you unhappy just so you don’t have to be alone.

Some people have an immediate need for companionship and passion, and they’re willing to compromise in other areas to get it. Don’t settle for someone who’s still attached to their own ex, who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated or who has a few behaviors you cannot stand. You’ll only be hurt in the long run, so when you see a red flag, hit the ground running.

Dating from a Legal Standpoint

Check with your North York divorce lawyer to make sure it’s fine to get back in the dating scene. However, dating before you get a green light might land you in hot water. Make sure your North York divorce lawyer has specifically told you it’s okay to date before you do, because getting a head start on a new relationship can have a negative effect on your case.